Lecture series, Vienna/Austria:
About Public Actions and Aesthetic Journeys — Photography and the Internet

Björn Siebert, „A SELF PORTRAIT [REMAKE]“, C-Print 2006, aus der Reihe „Remake“

The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.
—Susan Sontag

Digital images can be transferred from one computer to the other in real-time, they are available anytime and anywhere—they are interconnective. Photos the existence of which is not yet founded on zeroes and ones will be digitalized with the utmost probability.  One click is enough to (re)produce digital photos, to change their form of organisation, to make them available to a large audience and last but not least to make them readable for machines. The boom still rising of digital photography raises questions for a new aesthetic of the image that can not be answered without a glance at the interconnectedness of the World Wide Web: be it the compression of the images, which is necessary in order to send them on a journey through the virtual universe, be it the digital shape needed in order to show them in different sizes on the monitor, or be it a digital water-mark to protect authorship. Not least it is this omnipresent thought about the accessability of the photos for an almost unmanageable public that descibes the character of photography within the context of the Internet. The lecture series About Public Actions and Aesthetic Journeys—Photography and the Internet deals with the ongoing discourse about the impact of the Internet on digital forms of photography.

Thursday, November 11, 2010, 7 pm
*I Shot Myself”—Photography as Intimate Medium of Protocol
Leture by Karin Bruns

The World Wide Web is saturated with biographic formats which show, illustrate, or set the most private details to music. As it seems, these formats are the manifestation of the paradox of a published intimacy, including the routines of everyday life (*Preparing a cup of coffee“), biographical borderline situations (*I think I’m dying like my father did”), or even including sexual practices (*Me and my Ex doing it”). Which forms of familiarity and confidentiality are generated within the framework of the new online formats? And which role does photography play in this context?

Karin Bruns is a media and literature scholar. Since 2003 she works as professor of Media Theories at the University for Art and Industrial Design Linz, since 2004 she is head of the Media Department. Her research is mainly based on media theory, intermediality, gender and media, as well as the culture of rumors in the World Wide Web.

Thursday, November 18, 2010, 7 pm
Becoming Aliquid – Portraiture and the Internet
Lecture by Marc Ries

In the theory of photography the term “reproduction” always referred to the image itself, to the technological replay, duplication, and finally to the publishing of the recorded material. With the Internet a shift in the use of reproduction is happening—from the objects (information, opinions, infrastructures, images etc.) to “private” beings who reproduce themselves with their most intimate images and who duplicate themselves as anonymous actors within the architectures of the Internet. The lecture “Becoming Aliquid – Portraiture and the Internet” will discuss this shift on the basis of selected works from the exhibition “Public Images – Private Views”.

Marc Ries is a media philosopher, curator and professor of Sociology and Theory of Media at the Academy of Art and Design in Offenbach am Main. His research is mainly based on media and cultural theory with a special focus on photography, cinema, TV, digital media and architecture, as well as on the phenomenological and semiotic analysis of images.

Thursday, December 02, 2010, 7 pm
Remarks on the Influence of the WWW on Photography
Lecture by Ruth Horak

“Write something…” Facebook invites me to begin a conversation with a new friend. “What’s on your mind?” I scroll through the photos of the last 27 events and non-events of my new friend. “Write a comment…”, I am invited again, while in the meantime I skim the albums of her friends’ friends. “I like this,” I comment. What are the influences of the World Wide Web on contemporary photography?—A new chapter in the history of amateur photography including endless resources of publishing; a database of images ad infinitum; a source of inspiration for never-ending appropriation; low-fi low-res images, most of them immateriel and without any editorial support; the all-over view from above on our world, in our gardens… without any consequences?

Ruth Horak is an art historian and curator. She lives near Vienna and works as author and lecturer in the fields of Contemporary Art and photography. She regularly contributes to magazines, catalogues and books. In 2003 her book “Rethinking Photography—Narration und neue Reduktion in der Fotografie” was published by Edition Fotohof Salzburg.